Southern Air 777F suffers stall alert on JFK departure

Shortly after take-off, the heavily loaded widebody experienced a low-speed incident on climb out  

A Southern Air Boeing 777F performing a flight between New York/JFK and Seoul/Incheon on November 15, experienced a stall warning event whilst climbing out of the US airport. 

The incident – which saw the aircraft supposedly lose speed and altitude – was captured on audio in an air traffic control recording which showed one of the pilots exclaiming, “Stall, stall, stall, stall, stall” at the end of a radio transmission. 

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N702GT was originally delivered to Colombian carrier LANCO in September 2012. Aviation Image Network/Bailey

However, a statement from a company spokesperson at Atlas Air Worldwide, the parent organisation of Southern Air said the aircraft “did not stall” and was “always under positive control”.   

“A flight guidance event occurred during the climb, which triggered a proactive safety system alert. It was corrected and the aircraft continued on its planned route and landed safely,” the spokesperson added. 

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The jet departed New York/JFK on November 15 this year. Wikimedia Commons/Brandon Van Acker

The eight-year-old aircraft, N702GT (c/n 38091) is believed the have departed the facility heavily loaded which would have pushed the minimum manoeuvring speed up compared to lighter weight operations. 

An audible amber caution warning can be heard in the recording as the pilot checks-in with New York departure control passing 4,000ft.  

When the controller responds with a left turn and a climb to 11,000ft, the ATC recording logs a more serious red warning sound which is quickly followed by the pilot’s repeated use of the word “stall”, presumably alerting the pilot flying (PF) to the unfolding situation. 

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The widebody departed runway 22R at JFK shortly before 7.30pm local time. Flightradar24

The aircraft then climbs straight ahead for several minutes as the crew respond to the low-speed event before accepting a left turn to continue the flight and later request a high-speed climb, which was granted by ATC. 

The aircraft subsequently accelerated and continued to Seoul where it landed safely 14 hours later.